Introduction

The eechidna (Exploring Election and Census Highly Informative Data Nationally for Australia) R package makes it easy to look at the Census (and election) data from the 2001, 2006, 2011 and 2016 Australian Censuses.

This vignette documents how to access the Census data, using the example of 2016, and shows a few typical methods that can be used to explore the data.

2016 Census data

The data is loaded as abs2016 when you load eechidna.

library(eechidna)

data(abs2016)

Here we see that we have 150 observations and 86 variables.

Each observation is data pertaining to a particular federal electorate as described by http://www.aec.gov.au/profiles/.

Each variable is described here:

Variable Details
UniqueID Commonwealth Electoral District identifier
DivisionNm Name of electorate
State State containing electorate
Population Total population of electorate
Area Area of electorate division in square kilometres
Age00_04 Percentage of people aged 0-4.
Age05_14 Percentage of people aged 5-9.
Age15_19 Percentage of people aged 15-19.
Age20_24 Percentage of people aged 20-24.
Age25_34 Percentage of people aged 25-34.
Age35_44 Percentage of people aged 35-44.
Age45_54 Percentage of people aged 45-54.
Age55_64 Percentage of people aged 55-64.
Age65_74 Percentage of people aged 65-74.
Age75_84 Percentage of people aged 75-84.
Age85plus Percentage of people aged 85 or higher.
Anglican Percentage of people affiliated with the Anglican denomimation
AusCitizen Percentage of people who are Australian Citizens
AverageHouseholdSize Average number of people in a household
BachelorAbv Percentage of people who have completed a Bachelor degree or above
Born_Asia Percentage of people born in Asia
Born_MidEast Percentage of people born in the Middle East
Born_SE_Europe Percentage of people born in South Eastern Europe
Born_UK Percentage of people born in the United Kingdom
BornElsewhere Percentage of people born in a different region outside of Australia
BornOverseas_NS Percentage of people who did not answer the question relating to birthplace
Buddhism Percentage of people affiliated with the Buddhist religion
Catholic Percentage of people affiliated with the Catholic denomimation
Christianity Percentage of people affiliated with the Christian religion (of all denominations)
Couple_NoChild_House Percentage of households made up of a couple with no children
Couple_WChild_House Percentage of households made up of a couple with children
CurrentlyStudying Percentage of people who are currently studying
DeFacto Percentage of people who are in a de facto marriage
DiffAddress Percentage of people who live at a different address to what they did 5 years ago
DipCert Percentage of people who have completed a diploma or certificate (not including graduate diploma)
Distributive Percentage of employed persons who work in wholesale trade, retail trade, transport, post or warehousing related industries
EmuneratedElsewhere Percentage of people who receive emuneration outside of Australia, out of the total population plus overseas visitors
EnglishOnly Percentage of people who speak only English
Extractive Percentage of employed persons who work in extractive industries (includes mining, gas, water, agriculture, waste, electricity)
FamilyIncome_NS Percentage of people who did not answer the question relating to family income
FamilyRatio Average number of people per family
Finance Percentage of employed persons who work in finance or insurance related industries
HighSchool Percentage of people who have completed high school
HighSchool_NS Rate of nonresponse for questions relating to high school completion
HouseholdIncome_NS Percentage of people who did not answer the question relating to houshold income
Indigenous Percentage of people who are Indigenous
InternetAccess Percentage of people with access to the internet
InternetAccess_NS Rate of nonresponse for questions relating to internal access
InternetUse Percentage of people who used interent in the last week [2001 only]
InternetUse_NS Rate of nonresponse for questions relating to internet use [2001 only]
Islam Percentage of people affiliated with the Islamic religion
Judaism Percentage of people affiliated with the Jewish religion
Laborer Percentage of employed persons who work as a laborer
Language_NS Rate of nonresponse for questions relating to language spoken at home
LFParticipation Labor force participation rate
ManagerAdminClericalSales Percentage of employed persons who work in management, administration, clerical duties and sales
Married Percentage of people who are married
MedianAge Median age
MedianFamilyIncome Median weekly family income (in $)
MedianHouseholdIncome Median weekly household income (in $)
MedianLoanPay Median mortgage loan repayment amount (of mortgage payments, in $)
MedianPersonalIncome Median weekly personal income (in $)
MedianRent Median weekly rental payment amount (of those who rent, in $)
Mortgage Percentage of dwellings that are on a mortgage
NoReligion Percentage of people with no religion
OneParent_House Percentage of households made up of one parent with children
Other_NonChrist Percentage of people affiliated with a religion other than Christianity, Buddhism, Islam and Judaism
OtherChrist Percentage of people affiliated with a denomination of the Christian religion other than Anglican or Catholic
OtherLanguageHome Percentage of people who speak a language other than English at home
Owned Percentage of dwellings that are owned outright
PersonalIncome_NS Rate of nonresponse for questions relating to personal income
Professional Percentage of employed persons who work as a professional
PublicHousing Percentage of dwellings that are owned by the government, and rented out to tenants
Religion_NS Rate of nonresponse for questions relating to religion
Rent_NS Rate of nonresponse for questions relating to rental costs
Renting Percentage of dwellings that are being rented
SocialServ Percentage of employed persons who work in education and training, healthcare, wocial work, community, arts and recreation
SP_House Percentage of households occupied by a single person
Tenure_NS Rate of nonresponse for questions relating to tenure
Tradesperson Percentage of employed persons who specialise in a trade
Transformative Percentage of employed persons who work in construction or manufacturing related industries
Unemployed Unemployment rate
University_NS Rate of nonresponse for questions relating to University
Volunteer Percentage of people who work as a volunteer
Volunteer_NS Rate of nonresponse for questions relating to working as a volunteer

So let’s just look at some nice and simple plots using ggplot2.

Unemployment

library(ggplot2)
ggplot(data = abs2016,
       aes(x = Unemployed)) + 
  geom_density(fill = "salmon", 
               bw = "SJ",
               colour = NA) + 
  geom_rug(colour = "salmon") +
  theme_minimal() +
  xlim(0, 12)

Unemployment by state

ggplot(data = abs2016,
       aes(x = reorder(State, -Unemployed),
           y = Unemployed,
           colour = State)) + 
  geom_boxplot() + 
  labs(x = "State",
       y = "% Unemployment") + 
  theme_minimal() + 
  theme(legend.position = "none") 

Age

ggplot(data = abs2016,
       aes(x = Age00_04)) +
   geom_density(fill = "steelblue",
               bw = "SJ",
               colour = NA) + 
  xlim(3,11) +
  geom_rug(colour = "steelblue") + 
  theme_minimal() +
  labs(x = "% Aged between 0 and 4")

ggplot(data = abs2016,
       aes(x = reorder(State, -Age00_04),
           y = Age00_04,
           colour = State)) +
  geom_boxplot() + 
  theme_minimal() +
  labs(x = "State",
       y = "% Aged between 0 and 4") +
  theme(legend.position = "none") + 
  coord_flip()

However, there are many age groups. To look at all of them at once, we can gather them into a dataframe ready for plotting using tidyr.

library(tidyr)
library(dplyr)
## 
## Attaching package: 'dplyr'
## The following objects are masked from 'package:stats':
## 
##     filter, lag
## The following objects are masked from 'package:base':
## 
##     intersect, setdiff, setequal, union

Personal Income

ggplot(data = abs2016,
       aes(x = MedianPersonalIncome)) + 
  geom_density(fill = "salmon",
               bw = "SJ",
               colour = NA) + 
  xlim(250,1100) +
  geom_rug(colour = "salmon") + 
  theme_minimal()

Income by State

ggplot(data = abs2016,
       aes(x = reorder(State, -MedianPersonalIncome),
           y = MedianPersonalIncome,
           colour = State)) + 
  geom_boxplot() + 
  theme_minimal() + 
  theme(legend.position = "none") + 
  labs(x = "State")

If you’re intersted in getting a sense of the distribution of the data, you can add in the points to get a bit more of a sense on the distribution.

ggplot(data = abs2016,
       aes(x = reorder(State, -MedianPersonalIncome),
           y = MedianPersonalIncome,
           colour = State)) + 
  geom_boxplot() + 
  geom_jitter(alpha = 0.35, 
              size = 2,
              width = 0.3) +
  theme_minimal() + 
  theme(legend.position = "none") + 
  labs(x = "State")

Education

Bachelor and above
ggplot(data = abs2016,
       aes(x = BachelorAbv)) +
  geom_density(fill = "salmon",
               bw = "SJ",
               colour = NA) + 
  geom_rug(colour = "salmon") + 
  theme_minimal() + 
  labs(x = "% of electorate with a Bachelor degree or above") +
  xlim(0, 55)

Bachelor by state
ggplot(data = abs2016,
       aes(x = reorder(State, -BachelorAbv),
           y = BachelorAbv,
           colour = State)) +
  geom_boxplot() +
  theme_minimal() +
  labs(x = "State") + 
  theme(legend.position = "none")

BachelorAbv and income
ggplot(data = abs2016,
       aes(x = BachelorAbv,
           y = MedianPersonalIncome)) + 
  geom_point(colour = "steelblue",
             alpha = 0.75) + 
  theme_minimal()

Diploma and Certificate

ggplot(data = abs2016,
       aes(x = reorder(State, -DipCert),
           y = DipCert,
           colour = State)) +
  geom_boxplot() +
  theme_minimal() +
  labs(x = "State") + 
  theme(legend.position = "none")

Diploma and Certificate and income

Comparing income across Bachelor (and above) and Diploma/Certificate
## `geom_smooth()` using method = 'loess' and formula 'y ~ x'

Religion

Let’s look at all of the religions

Christianity by State
ggplot(data = abs2016,
       aes(x = reorder(State, -Christianity),
           y = Christianity,
           colour = State)) + 
  geom_boxplot() +
  theme_minimal() +
  theme(legend.position = "none") +
  coord_flip() + 
  labs(x = "State")